Fitness is one of those terms thrown around casually and without much thought. But the definition of fitness is actually very narrow and important. If you are not fit, it can make many aspects of your life more difficult or even impossible.
In general, physical fitness is a condition of health and well being and, more importantly, the ability to do different activities, sports and other daily tasks. Proper nutrition is necessary for proper physical fitness. Diet that doesn’t include enough protein or calories or doesn’t have the right combination of nutrients can prevent or weaken a person’s immune system, which in turn increases the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer. Lack of physical fitness can also reduce your lifespan.
When we talk of well-being, we primarily mean psychological well-being, but there is an important connection between the two. People who are fit tend to be happier and less stressed. They live longer and they have fewer chronic diseases and problems with depression, anxiety and mood disorders. People who exercise regularly or maintain a high level of fitness are more likely to have higher self-esteem and better mental health than those who aren’t as fit.
Aerobic fitness, on the other hand, is very closely associated with strength training, which strengthens your bones and muscles. Strength training is necessary for any activity that requires a considerable amount of muscle power, such as lifting weights or running. For example, people who run, jump or throw a ball well have a greater chance of developing bone and joint conditions, such as osteoporosis, than people who are not athletic.
Aerobic fitness is another term used interchangeably with physical activity or fitness. Aerobic fitness is what you need to maintain if you want to be fit, even if you don’t move around much or do anything strenuous. This type of fitness focuses on the heart and lungs and improves your overall health by improving your cardiac output and increasing the use of your lungs to take in oxygen. People who are fit generally have lower resting heart rates and higher maximum heart rate.
Finally, muscular endurance is what you need if you want to increase your body composition. Muscular endurance is measured by using calipers or a formula based on body weight and height. It is the difference between how long you can go without being uncomfortable. High levels of muscular endurance are what allow you to do things like row, swim, cycle or run for an hour.